Disinfo: Only 17 or 18 really died from COVID-19 in Italy


There might only be 17 or 18 real deaths from the coronavirus (in Italy).

Corpses are being burned today without referring to a doctor and without a certificate to mention the reason for death whereas everyone who died in Italy is being labelled as “death by coronavirus”. 


This is a conspiracy theory to showcase that the Italian government is deliberately hiding the number of coronavirus cases and deaths. It is part of the ongoing pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign around the coronavirus.

Professor Walter Ricciardi, scientific advisor to Italy’s minister of health has explained that "on re-evaluation by the National Institute of Health, only 12 per cent of death certificates have shown a direct causality from coronavirus, while 88 per cent of patients who have died have at least one pre-morbidity - many had two or three".

This does not mean that COVID-19 did not contribute to a patient's death, rather it demonstrates that Italy's fatality toll has surged as a large proportion of patients have underlying health conditions.

On the other hand, as stretched and sometimes overwhelmed hospitals fight to save their patients, many other people die unseen and uncounted, including elderly people in out-of-the-way locations. In addition, the health-care crisis can lead to a surge of deaths from other causes that would normally be treatable. Eugenio Fossati, deputy mayor of Coccaglio say that "there are many more dead than are officially declared. But this is not a j’accuse. People died and they were never tested because time and resources are limited".

Accordingly, the number of death published by "Johns Hopkins University", has reached 21,645 by 16 April 2020.


  • Reported in: Issue 193
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 13/04/2020
  • Country: Italy
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Conspiracy theory


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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